Blackwater caught another big fish, this time slaying defending three-time champion San Miguel, 106-96, Friday in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at Cuneta Astrodome.
The Elite were blistering from beyond the arc and went 13-of-25 from three to snapped their four-game losing skid and grab their first victory since toppling Ginebra last January 12.
Mike DiGregorio pumped 26 points on a 5-of-9 outside shooting and collected five assists and three rebounds, while JP Erram tallied a double-double with 24 markers, 18 boards, four blocks, and three assists.
Allein Maliksi chipped in 11 points, eight dimes, and six boards as Blackwater improved its record to 3-5.
“With three more games, I think we have a good chance to make it to the playoffs. This win could motivate us more and hopefully, the good Lord will continue to bless us in the coming games,” said coach Leo Isaac.
The Elite also drew huge contributions from rookie Emil Palma, who got six of his eight markers in the fourth quarter.
The Beermen dropped their second loss in three outings to slide to 6-2, and share the first place with Magnolia and Alaska.
Arwind Santos led the way for San Miguel with 22 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks, while Chris Ross flirted with a triple-double with 20 markers, nine boards, and seven dimes.
Four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo was limited to just 12 points on a paltry 3-of-11 shooting, while also hauling down 13 rebounds as he played through an injured right elbow.
BLACKWATER 106 — DiGregorio 26, Erram 24, Maliksi 11, Sena 10, Palma 8, Jose 6, Marcelo 6, Cortez 5, Cruz 5, Pinto 5, Neypes 0, Sumang 0.
SAN MIGUEL 96 — Santos 22, Ross 20, Lassiter 13, Fajardo 12, Lanete 9, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Heruela 8, Agovida 2, Semerad 2, De Ocampo 0, Mamaril 0, Pessumal 0.
Quarters: 20-27, 43-45, 72-69, 106-96.